"The victory makes me happy and I believe that it will help the avenue. We entered the avenue in Jedovnice into the competition in order to draw attention to this significant landscape monument and to try to raise money for its recovery. The students of elementary school in Jedovnice and of local technical school played significant role in winning. The avenue was damaged by a windstorm three years ago, but despite this fact it is still in a good condition. It consists of about 200 trees with the lime trees and ashes dominating. But we can also find here sycamores and Norway maples. At the turn to Rudice, there are several rare elms," Jiri Zidu from Brno introduces the reasons for nomination.
"Local people are very active when it comes to trees protection, proof of which is the work of Mr. Zidu on saving avenues. The award The Avenue of the Year is not only about the advertising on the project website. We are frequently in touch with local people and are finding out what kind of help from our side will be the most helpful. We definitely want the avenue to get more attention and so help to further development of tourism with regard to nature protection in Jedovnicko," says the administrator of the project and the leader of the campaign Save the Trees, RNDr. Marcela Klemensova, member of Arnika.
The picture The Avenue on Anensky vrch in Andelska hora (Moravskoslezsky Region) by Katerina Bujnochova won in the photographic part of the contest where the jury choose the most impressive pictures and evaluate their authors. The second place belongs to Osova Avenue in Veltrusy by Irena Brozova and third came the avenue leading to Krizovy vrch at Cvikov (Liberecky Region), which was taken by Dan Bares. The best pictures were chosen by the jury among which there were also the benefactors of the competition – Marie Hruskova, the writer, Premek Podlaha, the host and publicist and Jan Caga, the photographer.
"Avenues are fascinating phenomena of our landscape and we have to protect them. In summer, they protect travelers from heat from the sun; in winter, they reduce the building up of snowdrifts on the roads. They provide shelters for many animal species. The avenues are impressive in every season as it can be seen in the pictures entered into the contest. The trees around the roads, but also around the tiny paths definitely belong to our landscape; therefore we have been working on their protection for a long time. The project The Avenue of the Year should help also," Vratislav Voznik, the spokesman of Arnika, explains the importance of avenues and the competition.
The balloon flight by HaBalon Company waits for that person who nominated the winning avenue. Prizes wait for the authors of awarded pictures, for example gift vouchers by Centre FotoSkoda, vouchers for goods by Bushman or set of hand-made writing paper by handmade paper mill in Velke Losiny. Among prizes, we can also find books about trees by Marie Holeckova, the writer and photographer, or publications by Mlada Fronta publishing house, something to eat by PRO-BIO, tickets to Prague Botanic Garden or to Botanic Garden of Charles University and to gardens and greenhouses of Flora in Olomouc. The interactive toys by Hrackarna.cz or the set of wooden cutlery by Drevotvar in Jablonne nad Orlici are not missing. Axida Company Akademicka realitni also contributed financially for other prizes. Current information about the inquiry will be brought by Deniky of Vltava-Labe-Press in individual regions.
Frauds tried to influence this year's voting by fake votes from so-called voting machines. Arnika revealed this attempt and identified these votes after consulting with specialist in information systems.
Arnika has been protecting avenues for many years. It initiated the creation of "Save the trees" petition which called for better law protection of avenues and trees in the landscape and in the cities, too. The petition has been supported by more than 30 thousand people. It is their credit that a new amendment was passed and the exception that allowed road workers to cut the trees by the roads without permission was cancelled. Arnika also created the first national statistic and pointed out that during last several years; more than 100 thousand trees have disappeared by the roads in the Czech Republic.
Supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union and the German Federal Environmental Foundation. www.swisscontribution.admin.ch